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1 The Nutrition & Wellness Committee is a group of representatives from across multiple departments in Hartford Public Schools as well as members of the community and student body ensuring HPS is doing all it can to encourage healthy choices for students, families, staff and the community. HPS is committed to providing a school environment that promotes and protects children's health, well-being, and ability to learn by supporting healthy eating and physical activity. Our mission is to promote wellness in all schools and for all students and employees in the district. Hartford Public Schools: Recognizes that significant research indicates a positive relationship between adequate nutrition, learning and academic performance. Believes healthy foods support student physical growth, brain development, resistance to disease, emotional stability and ability to learn. Recognizes that good mental health is critical to a student's ability to learn. Believes that primary prevention and early intervention are the best means to provide for the long-term success of students. Believes that staff wellness is a priority. All employees will have the opportunity to participate in training and in-service programs that address wellness topics. Employees will be encouraged and provided with the information necessary to adopt healthy lifestyles and serve as wellness models for students and the community. Recognizes that healthy students are better able to take advantage of the educational programs offered to them. The Wellness Committee is proud of the accomplishments made by Hartford Public Schools in this school year. A brief summary of these accomplishments is below. Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program Grant Award Hartford Public Schools Food & Child Nutrition Services was once again the proud recipient of the USDA s Fresh Fruit & Vegetable Grant Program. This program is administered by the State of Connecticut s Child Nutrition Program. The primary goals of the grant are to: 1) create a healthier school environment, 2) increase the variety of fresh fruits and vegetables that children are exposed to and 3) to make an impact in children's diets by increasing the access and consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables, throughout the school day. This year, six Hartford Public Elementary schools participated in this exciting program and students had an opportunity to taste new items such as fresh star-fruit, avocado and kumquats! Simple, easy to administer nutrition education tips and tools were distributed to teachers via s from the Food & Nutrition Services Department and classrooms also received school based assistance from Foodcorps members.

2 Community Eligibility Provision Opportunity The Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) provides an alternative approach for offering school meals in local educational agencies. Instead of collecting individual household applications for free and reducedprice meals, the CEP allows schools that mainly serve low-income children to offer free, nutritious school meals to all students through the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and School Breakfast Program (SBP). The benefits of this are that all students receive free lunches and breakfast, household applications for free and reduced price meals are eliminated and there is a potential increase in participation for lunch and breakfast. This year CEP has been successfully phased in as a pilot program in several states, including Maryland, Massachusetts and New York and will be available in all other states in the school year. Hartford Public Schools Food and Child Nutrition Services will explore this option for schools/groupings of schools that potentially qualify and if deemed advantageous to the district, students and families, will actively pursue this opportunity to expand its programs. Continued Healthy Food Certification Participation Under the superintendent s leadership, Hartford Public Schools continues to be a proud participant of the State of Connecticut Department of Child Nutrition Healthy Food Certification. This is a voluntary program that sets strict standards for snacks available to students during the school day and stipulates that only snack items that meet the Connecticut Nutrition Standards be available. The program focuses on limiting calories, fat, saturated fat, trans fat, sodium and sugars, moderating portion size and promoting increased intake of nutrient-dense foods, such as whole grains. Healthier US Schools Challenge (HUSSC) Efforts and Application This year, the Maria Sanchez School, in partnership with HPS s Food & Child Nutrition Services, plan to submit a joint application for the distinguished Healthier US Schools Challenge Silver Awards/Certification from USDA. Currently, less than 7% of the schools in the nation have this five-year certification, which recognizes excellence in nutrition services provided and opportunities for physical education and activity that result in a healthier school environment. This year, the Maria Sanchez School Wellness committee worked in partnership with Hartford Childhood Wellness Alliance and the Connecticut Children s Medical Center to develop a guide to creating a successful school health and wellness committee, entitled: How to Become a Hartford Healthy School Zone. This report was published with funds from the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving and serves as a blueprint for other schools in the district to model. The work of the wellness committee will serve as the foundation of the award application. The manual contains monthly projects successfully completed at Maria Sanchez School and contains a series of easy-to-use and easy-to-implement activities that can be modified and replicated at other schools in the district. Expanded Breakfast Program Hartford Public Schools recognizes the importance of breakfast for children and its strong connection to academic success. Research has clearly demonstrated that children who eat breakfast are better prepared to meet the challenges of the school day and perform better on standardized tests. All schools in the Hartford Public School district offer a nutritious and balanced breakfast and service is provided utilizing several modalities. The popular Build Your Own Breakfast Program is offered in most school cafeterias. This program offers a nutritious breakfast to students every morning and offers a variety of healthy selections such as whole grain, reduced fat muffins, whole grain cereals, nonfat fruited

3 yogurt and 1% unflavored and skim flavored milk options. This year, a Grab and Go Breakfast service was successfully expanded in two of our high schools with assistance from grant funds from Newman s Own Foundation. In addition to the traditional cafeteria buffet style breakfast, Grab and Go carts have been set up in Hartford Public High and Buckley High School and have been well received by students and school administration. Expanded breakfast participation is anticipated with this new program. Nutrition Resources for Parents and Families The following nutrition resources are available to all parents in both English and Spanish, via distribution to schools as well as through regular postings on the Hartford Public Schools website on the Food & Child Nutrition page at: Current year Free & Reduced Meal Applications Payment information and instructions Allergen & carbohydrate information for all lunch and breakfast menus. Additional information and guidance is available, in both English & Spanish, by contacting the department of Food & Child Nutrition Services. Nutrition information for parents and families was recently added under Useful Tips and Resources and Consejos Útiles y Recursos on the Child and Nutrition webpage Resources for Teachers Grade and age appropriate, free and low cost nutrition education materials are distributed to teachers in the district for incorporation, as appropriate, into their student curriculum. Utilization of USDATeam Nutrition teaching aids and resources is actively promoted. Wellness Committee Information Information on the Hartford Public Schools Wellness Committee is posted on the district website on the Food and Child Nutrition Website at: Summer School - Hartford Public Schools' Summer Food Services Program It is well recognized that summer is a time of significant food insecurity for many families in Hartford; because of this, Hartford Public Schools Food & Child Nutrition Services Department continues to participate in the federally funded Seamless Summer Food Program. Through this vital program, nutritious meals are provided to all children 18 years and under free of charge. All meals are balanced, meet strict USDA meal pattern requirements and offer a variety of seasonal fresh and local fruits and vegetables. All summer meal program sites offer both breakfast and lunch service and are located throughout the city. Many of our HPS students and families depend on this important program during the summer months for nourishment and the department of Food & Child Nutrition Services works with community partners such as EndHungerCT! to assure that all students and families interested in participating in the program have access to site hours of operations and locations. Information is distributed to schools, posted on the district website in both English and Spanish and a press release is distributed to local media. In addition, the 211 info-line program assists callers with program information.

4 Healthy Hunger Free Kids Act of 2010 The Healthy Hunger Free Kids Act of 2010 required the USDA to develop new nutrition standards for school breakfasts and lunches, based upon the current Dietary Guidelines for Americans and current science, as reviewed and recommended by the Institute of Medicine. Based upon proactive menu changes over several years, minimal changes were required by Hartford Public Schools' Food & Child Services Program to be in full compliance. The Food & Child Nutrition Services Department has been fully compliant with these and all dietary specification requirements. In addition, our menu selections reflect the rich cultural heritage of our student body and include healthier version of traditional favorites such as yucca, guineo maduro, collard greens and whole grain corn bread. A successful partnership between HPS Food & Child Nutrition Services and the popular local Hartford business, Scott s Jamaican Bakery has resulted in the creation of a lower sodium, reduced fat version of their Jamaican beef patty. This healthier version meets the strict standards of the HHFKA of 2010 and regularly featured on the HPS school menu. Expanded Services to District Extended Day Program/Supper Program Several of our schools have enhanced their after-school enrichment programs to extend beyond the regularly scheduled school day. Extended hours school-based programing provides opportunities for academic improvement and well as exposure to additional self-discovery and enrichment opportunities. Since these programs run into the late afternoon and early evening, the Food and Child Nutrition department has continued to offer its successful CACFP At-Risk Youth Supper Program in 10 locations. Hartford Public School was one of the first districts in the state of Connecticut to offer this important program and is a leader in this area, providing technical assistance and support to other districts interested in starting a new program. Department of Public Health Grant Hartford Public Schools Health Services Department operates nine school-based health centers. Over 50% of the student population in each school is enrolled in the clinic. Some of the services provided by our school-based health centers include physical exams, immunizations, health promotion and wellness, medical care for injuries and illness, assistance with chronic diseases such as asthma and diabetes, reproductive health care (for high school students), and mental health counseling. More information regarding our clinics can be found at: The Hartford Public Schools Dental Program HPS is providing full-service dental treatment in fifteen of our schools. Services include: fluoride treatments, x-rays, cleanings, sealants, restorations (fillings), root canals, space maintainers, extractions, examinations, free toothbrushes, and oral health care teaching. More information regarding our dental programs can be found at: Building Bridges at Connecticut Children s Medical Center Partnership This school-based asthma program builds lines of communication between school nurses, parents and pediatric primary care clinicians. The goal of the Building Bridges program is to decrease the overall burden of asthma in school-aged children and to improve long-term school performance among disadvantaged inner-city children by improving short-term asthma control and school attendance. Building Bridges is currently in ten of our schools.

5 Supportive Wellness Responses to the Social and Emotional Needs of Students Social Workers and Student Support Services Staff Professional Development Programs and Workshops Suicide Prevention One Voice One Life - Question Persuade Refer-Ask a Question Save a Life Trauma Training Sex Trafficking The Color of Justice Relationships - Monkey See, Monkey Do, Monkey Do the Same As You! Suicide Response Information The Establishment of Prevention/Intervention Teams at every school Mandated Reporting of Child Abuse & Abuse by School Employee Trauma, Brain and Relationships: Helping Children Heal HPS Employee Assistance Program & Triple PPP Depression and School Age Children Managing Stress and Recovering from Trauma Distribution of depression information to all school social workers and support services staff Helping Children Cope with Loss, Death and Grief District Employee Initiatives Hartford Public Schools has a Risk Management & Wellness Specialist on staff that focuses on employee wellness. The district offers an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) for not only HPS employees but their families as well. EAP is available 24/7 for anything from workplace safety, addictions, grief and loss, home improvement and more. The district also provides employees with monthly s and intranet accessibility to a wellness calendar. Every month s and flyers are sent to staff pertaining to proper nutrition, health screenings, immunizations stress and fighting a variety of diseases. Goals The primary goals of the HPS Wellness Committee are: Promote student, staff, and community health. Facilitate student learning of lifelong, healthy habits. Increase student achievement. Additional goals for the HPS Wellness Committee this year are: Revise the Wellness Program webpage on the district website and update the content in an effort to better communication health and wellness information to stakeholders. Include other members on this committee. (i.e. parent representation, physical education teachers, etc.) Finalize a schedule of meeting dates. Establish an evaluation/assessment process regarding compliance. Revise wellness policy and present it to the Board of Education.

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